By Francis Wakefield
Incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal on Thursday said defeating the New People’s Army (NPA) will be one of his top priorities when he assumes command next week.
“Actually, defeating the NPA is just part of the campaign,” Madrigal said.
“Meron tayong tinatawag (We have what we call) People’s Centered Strategy. The most important thing is that they lose their support and the support system of the regulars,” Madrigal said.
Madrigal stressed that for as long as all military officials work together with the stakeholders, they can soon defeat the enemy.
Meanwhile, Madrigal said it’s a huge honor for him to be appointed to the military’s highest position.
“Of course, isang malaking karangalan ‘yung ano, mabigyan ng ano (It’s a huge honor for me to be given) the trust, the confidence to be the AFP chief of staff,” Madrigal said.
“Of course ang Commander-in-Chief naman natin ang mahal na Pangulo (our beloved President) and of course, I’m honored to be trusted to be his chief of staff,” he said.
Madrigal, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985, is not only the most senior of the AFP Board of Generals recommendees but also among the most competent in terms of distinct professionalism, leadership, and character.
Madrigal held key positions in the Philippine Army. He was the former commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro; former Assistant Division Commander and later acting Division Commander of the 10th Infantry Division in Compostela Valley before becoming the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army.
He also held major positions in the AFP General Headquarters as Chief of War Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, OJ5; Secretary Joint Staff, AFP; and Head Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff.